cover of book

Being Maasai: Ethnicity and Identity In East Africa
by Thomas Spear
contributions by Richard Waller
edited by Thomas Spear and Richard Waller
Ohio University Press, 1993
Paper: 978-0-8214-1045-5 | eISBN: 978-0-8214-4568-6 | Cloth: 978-0-8214-1029-5
Library of Congress Classification DT433.545.M33B44 1993


Everyone “knows” the Maasai as proud pastoralists who once dominated the Rift Valley from northern Kenya to central Tanzania.

But many people who identity themselves as Maasai, or who speak Maa, are not pastoralist at all, but farmers and hunters. Over time many different people have “become” something else. And what it means to be Maasai has changed radically over the past several centuries and is still changing today.

This collection by historians, archaeologists, anthropologists and linguists examines how Maasai identity has been created, evoked, contested, and transformed from the time of their earliest settlement in Kenya to the present, as well as raising questions about the nature of ethnicity generally.

See other books on: East | East Africa | Ethnicity | Kenya | Tanzania
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